Sonos files for IPO

Sonos files for $100M IPO as it seeks to stem losses in face of growing competition

NEW YORK-Sonos Inc. filed for a USA initial public offering as the wireless speaker pioneer gears up to take on increasing competition from Amazon.com Inc., Google and Apple Inc. However, that figure is a placeholder used to calculate the amount of the registration fee as required under SEC rules, so the actual amount of capital it's seeking to raise through the offering could be different. The company plans to list shares on Nasdaq under the symbol "SONO".

Sonos is targeting a valuation of $2.5 billion to $3 billion in the IPO, people familiar with the matter said in April. In the potential risks section of its IPO filing, Sonos notes that the United States big-box retailer Best Buy accounted for 17% of its revenue for the first half of this year, and the ALSO Group-its distributor in Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Norway-accounted for 12%.

Allowing Alexa to operate freely in third-party devices like Sonos speakers means it can end up in more homes than if it were restricted to Amazon's Echo devices.

Sonos has a range of speakers that come with Amazon's popular voice assistant, Alexa, built-in, including the Sonos One smart speaker and the Sonos Beam soundbar.

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More recently, the home audio giants have started offering speakers with voice control.

In other words, in order to remain competitive in this market, Sonos may find itself investing in improving sound-quality, in varied retail partnerships, and in music streaming service, voice assistant and connected home integrator partnerships. Users listened to 5 billion hours of audio content using Sonos products in fiscal 2017, up 33% year-over-year.

The company has a lot of satisfied customers, noting in its filing that 61% of its customers own more than one Sonos product.

In preparation for its anticipated IPO, Sonos cut about 6 per cent of its workers to help boost profitability.

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In 2017, Sonos reported revenue of $992.5 million, a 10 percent increase over the prior year, and a $14.2 million loss.

Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. are working on the listing.

Its next largest holders are Index Ventures and Sonos co-founder and chief executive officer John MacFarlane, who each own about 13 per cent. Sonos has sold over 19 million devices since it first set up shop, and it creates an enviable degree of loyalty.

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